64% turnout in Chandigarh Golf Club polls


Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, January 29

Around 64 per cent turnout was witnessed in the city’s prestigious Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) elections today. Two heavyweights — Lt Col HS Chahal (retd) and Major Rajinder Singh Virk (retd) — are vying to attain the top post.

Members queue up to cast their vote in Chandigarh on Sunday.Former Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh (centre), along with other members, during the elections at the golf club.

Of the total 1,800 voters, 1,150 members cast their vote to choose the new president, along with 11-member executive body, of the club.

Last year, it was a triangular contest and a total of 1,154 members cast their vote. This time, there was a neck-and-neck fight and all eyes will be on the results, excepted to be declared by tomorrow afternoon.

“The voting was peaceful and as many as 1,150 members turned up to cast their vote. This is a good turnout to choose the new president and executive members of the club,” said Dr GS Kochhar, vice-president and chairman, media and publicity, CGC.

The sidelights

Traffic chaos was witnessed outside Chandigarh Golf Club. Several vehicles were seen parked on no parking zones and the cycle track. Later, the UT Traffic Police reached the spot to manage traffic.Apart from friends and relatives, kids also joined the contesting members in canvassing.Due to bad weather conditions, special arrangements were made for voters. The voting was held at the restaurant. Separate queues were made for senior citizens and senior members of the clubs.The first phase of voting witnessed long queues of members.

Politicians, professionals turn up in large numbers

Perhaps it was for the first time in the past five elections that a large number of politicians reached out to cast their votes. Apart from politicians, professional golfers, veteran Army personnel and other who’s who of Chandigarh and neighbouring states reached here. Simranjit Singh Mann, Sangrur MP; Punjab BJP leaders Kewal Singh Dhillon, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Balbir Singh Sidhu; Preneet Kaur, wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh; Malwinder Singh, brother of Capt Amarinder Singh; Jagmohan Singh Kang, AAP leader; and other local leaders exercised their right to franchise. Former Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh, Arjuna Award recipient golfer Harmeet Kahlon, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad HC Justice SS Sodhi and others were among prominent names to turn up for voting today. Several bureaucrats of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh reached the venue to cast their vote.

How voters turned up in past years

In 2013, the club had witnessed a record turnout when 1,142 members cast their votes. In the last elections, as many as 1,154 members had cast their vote. As many as 31 candidates contested for the 11-member executive post. Last year, the elections were delayed for two months and were held in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018, a total of 918 votes were polled and the elections were not held in the following years due to the pandemic outbreak. On an average, around 900 to 1,100 members turn up to cast their vote. However this year, the number increased to 1,150.

23 members in fray for 11 executive committee posts

In the last elections, Chahal (Bobby) emerged the winner after defeating Virk (Lalli) by a margin of 99 votes. Apart from the president, a total of 23 members are contesting for the 11-member executive committee of the club. Dr Agnish Rajesh, Amarinder Singh Aulakh, Brig TS Mundi, Capt GS Ghuman, Dr Satbir Singh, Sachin Bansal, Gursimran Singh Sethi, Alamgir Singh Grewal, Gursharan Singh Sandhu, Balbir Singh Mangat, Col AD Singh, Capt Mohan Bir Singh, Chitwan Mann, Mandeep Singh Kohli, Col Harpreet Singh Mann, Satwant Singh Sandhu, HCS Berry, Capt Amitpal Chahal, Shuchi Garga, Col SS Grewal, Col Karan Thandi, Shona Singh and JS Thoor were contesting for the 11-member executive committee.